Published on Monday, 01 September 2014 13:02
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It may have taken just a tad longer for SATA solid state drives (SSDs) to finally hit the performance wall specified by the SATA III standard but the fact that we are here means that PCIex solutions will soon cease to be the only ones capable for read/write speeds exceeding 1000MB/s and although for most consumers even 1/3 of that is more than sufficient still it's always good to know that things are on the fast lane. Of course for that to happen the new SATA standard must reach retail in numbers so manufacturers can invest in it but i do expect the first such SSD models to hit store shelves in early 2015 (at least in numbers). Meanwhile however our job is to look for the fastest SATA III SSD in the market currently and from a plethora of available models that doesn't seem to be the easiest thing. Well our good friends over at Samsung clearly think they have first place in their pocket with their latest 850 PRO SSD and so today we'll be taking the 512GB variant for a ride.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in technology, opening new possibilities for people everywhere. Through relentless innovation and discovery, we are transforming the worlds of televisions, smartphones, personal computers, printers, cameras, home appliances, LTE systems, medical devices, semiconductors and LED solutions. We employ 236,000 people across 79 countries with annual sales of US$187.8 billion. Samsung's Memory Business offers the industry's most advanced and extensive range of memory semiconductor products. As a leader in both the design and manufacture of memory semiconductor since 1993, the business provides key memory products including dynamic random access memory (DRAM), static random access memory (SRAM), NAND flash memory, Solid State Drives (SSD) and a range of green memory solutions for use in PC, server and mobile applications. Samsung is also leading the industry in advancements of next generation DRAM and NAND flash technologies while nurturing future memory technologies. To discover more, please visit www.samsung.com.
Just like the 840 Pro was the very first mass produced SSD model to use TLC NAND flash modules the 850 Pro is the very first SSD to use V-NAND (3D NAND) flash modules so it's really good to see that a well-known and respected manufacturer like Samsung is leading the race since their products are known to be highly reliable. Now some of you may wonder as to what 3D/V-NAND flash modules have different compared regular ones and the answer is really very simple which is also why i can't figure out why no one else thought of this before. So what Samsung did is basically to stack cells on top of each other (32 layers) instead of just placing them right next to each other thus increasing available space. More space means that Samsung can use larger die shrink (40nm in this case) which in turn increases reliability and performance while at the same time cuts down costs. As for the rest well since SATA III was pretty much maxed out with their previous products Samsung has once again used the same exact 400MHz MEX S4LN045X01-803 NAND flash controller they did in the past with the 840 EVO and the 845DC EVO but with a twist since this time over they had to optimize the firmware to make use of the new 3D V-NAND flash modules. How do all these translate in performance that's what we're about to find out.